Massive medical supplies donated by China’s Jack Ma Foundation to 54 African countries to battle coronavirus, arrived on Sunday morning in Addis Ababa, through an Ethiopian Airlines cargo flight.
They include 5.4 million face masks, kits for 1.08 million detection tests, 40,000 sets of protective clothing and 60,000 sets of protective face shields, according to the Jack Ma Foundation.
The supplies will first be distributed to countries throughout Africa which are particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The remaining 600,000 masks are expected to reach Addis Ababa and be distributed to more African nations over the next few weeks, it said.
The relief initiative forms part of Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation’s ongoing efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 and provide aid to afflicted communities across the globe.
Earlier this week, the foundations had announced their commitment to donating 100,000 medical masks, 20,000 test kits and 1,000 protective suits and face shields to each of the 54 nations on the African continent. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across Africa has climbed to 1,114 as 40 African countries reported confirmed cases as of Saturday afternoon, the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention disclosed on Saturday.
Collaboration and partnership with the Alibaba-led Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) hubs in Ethiopia and Rwanda is expected to prompt the distribution across Africa. The flight with the shipment landed at the eWTP hub in Ethiopia, which will help facilitate transport and distribution of donations throughout the continent. “Getting these donations to all 54 African countries, with diverse geographic conditions and different levels of infrastructure, is a great logistical and transportation challenge.
We are working around the clock to make the delivery as fast as possible. ” according to a Jack Ma Foundation statement. “With our technology and eWTP Hubs, we are doing our utmost to quickly deliver these donations, so the supplies can reach those who need them most,” added Song Juntao, Secretary-General of eWTP.
This donation is part of global efforts that the Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundations have promoted to support the areas of the world most affected by the COVID-19 crisis, sourcing and delivering various types of medical supplies to countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, United States, Italy, Belgium, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Slovenia. Established by Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba Group, the Jack Ma Foundation was founded in 2014 and has been focusing on education, entrepreneurship, women’s leadership, and the environment.
Ikeja Electric has announced that no physical transaction of business will take place across its offices in its franchise network for the next one week. This partial closure is in line with ongoing efforts nationwide to prevent further spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 and protect customers and staff of the Company.
The DisCo said the partial closure, which begins today (Tuesday, March 24, 2020), is part of precautionary measures that have become necessary in order to safeguard the health of customers and staff by limiting their exposure to COVID-19.
The spread of the virus, according to World Health Organisation (WHO), is believed to be mainly through person-to-person contact which enables respiratory droplets from infected individuals who exhibit or later show symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, breathing difficulty, fever etc. to be transmitted to other persons.
Meanwhile, the Company has reassured customers that services including supply of electricity to customers, fault clearing, online channels for purchase of energy credits and payment of bills are unaffected by the temporary closure. Customers can continue to make enquiries or complaints to its Customers Care Team via email, live chat or phone calls.
- Proposes Dividend of 20k Per Share
Fidelity Bank Plc has delivered another impressive full year result, sustaining the sterling financial performance that has been witnessed by the top lender in recent years. The bank’s FY 2019 results released on Monday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), showed strong growth across key income and balance-sheet lines.
Gross Earnings grew by 14.0% to N215.5bn from N189.0bn in 2018, whilst Profit before tax rose by 21.0% to N30.4bn compared with N25.1bn recorded in the previous year. Similarly net profits surged by 24% from N22.9bn from 2018 in 2018 to N28.4bn in 2019. Buoyed by the performance, the bank plans to pay a dividend of 20kobo translating to N5.8bn compared to the dividend of 11 kobo paid in 2018.
In other indices, Net Interest Income increased by 13.2% to N83.1bn in 2018. Net Operating Income rose by 15.6% from N97.2bn to N112.3bn whilst Total Assets grew by 22.9% from N1,719.9bn to N2,114.0bn in the period under review.
Commenting on the results, Fidelity Bank CEO, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo expressed delight with the performance “We are delighted at the results which clearly showed that we sustained our performance trajectory and continued to increase our market share driven by significant traction in our chosen business segments”, he said.
On Digital Banking he said the results were enhanced by new initiatives in the retail lending segment and the deepening of the bank’s existing digital products. According to him “We now have 47.4% of our customers enrolled on the mobile/internet banking products, 82.0% of total transactions now done on digital platforms and 31.1% of fee-based income now coming from our digital banking business”.
He further revealed that the efforts aimed at strengthening the bank’s foothold of the retail market, is yielding significant results with savings deposits rising by 20.7% to N275.2bn making it the 6th consecutive year of double-digit growth. “Savings deposits now accounts for about 22.5% of total deposits, an attestation of our increasing market share in the retail segment” stated Okonkwo.
Just as was seen with deposit growth, there was also a corresponding increase in the bank’s retail assets. Specifically, Retail loans grew by 42.9% to N53.8bn driven by the bank’s new digital lending products and partnership with Fintechs. As at December 2019, the bank had disbursed over 70,000 micro-loans on our flagship digital lending product (Fidelity FastLoan) in partnership with Migo.
Conversely there was a remarkable improvement in Non-performing loans (NPLs). The bank’s NPL ratio dropped to 3.3% from 5.7% in the 2018FY due primarily to the growth in the loan book and a 25.1% decline in absolute NPLs resulting from the loan write-offs of over N12bn.